It is really hard to describe the kind of bond I share with Sehyr Mirza – my cross border friend from Lahore, Pakistan.
When somebody asks me how we met and became friends, I am taken back to Feb 2012- the good old days. We both applied for an international conference to be held in New Delhi the same year. The delegates were added in the active discussion group to discuss about almost anything to everything. It is easy to spot the like-minded ones in the crowd and from here our story started. In a very less time we became good friends though initially it was hard to accept that I was friends with someone from a rival country that too Pakistan.
Beginning the interaction was smooth for both of us, maybe because of the same culture we share but our talks were not limited to tensed relations between two countries, Kashmir issue, partition stories or rituals and traditions. Since day one we were comfortable with each other and talked about everything that could pop in our minds – likes, food habits, experiences, work life, festivals, peace talks, news and what not.
We chatted, discussed, shared and made plans. Unfortunately, due to the strained relationship between both the countries, the whole group from Pakistan was denied visa. I so wanted to meet her but destiny had different plans. A year later she applied for visa and was lucky enough to get though only for Mumbai. I had my final semester exams so couldn’t travel to meet her. I was touched to receive the beautiful gifts she sent me through our mutual friend from Mumbai.
It was 24th January, 2015 when I first met her at Ambedker terminal in Delhi. That time I actually understood why everybody says we both look alike. Once while roaming together in Delhi, I told an auto driver about her being from Pakistan – he didn’t believe me because of the similar looks we share. I still remember his expressions – hilarious! Once I used her picture as my DP on whatsapp and to my surprise my mom asked me when I got that dress. Haha!
Me and Sehyr at Jaipur Literature Festival.
We lived together for almost five days, travelled together and captured unlimited moments to be cherished lifelong. During our stay together, I realized we are similar in a lot of ways, habits and yes laziness too. Here, I must admit she can beat me in being lazy (seriously). Sometimes she is so shy and sometimes so open up, crazy and moody just like me. She likes elephants and gets excited on seeing one though is afraid to take its ride. She likes colors, a lot! She is hardworking and much focused at work. I feel comfortable to share my thoughts and secrets with her because she doesn’t judge. She is a feminist and this is the best thing about her. The stand she takes for what she feels is correct, never compromising attitude- quite inspiring. If ever she feels I am going wrong way, she warns me, gives me best guidance and corrects me. She is not only a friend but a sister to me. Needless to say, I feel blessed and lucky to have a sister like her in my life.
I believe the youth on both sides of the border should continuously strive for peace. This reminds me of the famous lines by Gulzar –
Aankhon ko visa nahi lagta
Sapnon ki sarhad hoti nahi
Band aakhon se roz main sarhad paar chala jaata hoon
#AmanKiAsha #LongLiveIndoPakFriendship #Peace #FriendsForever #Crossborderfriends #IndoPak #EastPunjabWestPunjab